Model organisms are species that are studied extensively to understand particular biological phenomena and processes, with the expectation that discoveries made in the model organism will provide insight into the workings of other organisms.
The small marine ringed worm Platynereis dumerilii gained interest as a lab organism because of the dependency of its reproduction on the lunar cycle. For optimal breeding conditions in the lab, the worms experience summer all year round – they’re exposed to 16 hours of light and 8 hours of total darkness each day.
Scientists use Platynereisdumerilii to study the development of its eyes – the simplest amongst all animals, consisting of only two cells. As Platynereisdumerilii is one of the oldest species still existing, studying this ringed worm’s eyes also means studying the developmental evolution of eyes in general.
If you have a stunning picture of your science, your lab or your site, you can submit it here.
It’s almost a year since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, affecting all our lives. While the virus continues its grip on the world, scientists are understanding it better and better, increasing our knowledge about it and opening up new ways to fight it.